Looks like the window has closed on the White House’s attempts to arrange a call between Donald Trump and Susan Bro. The mother of Heather Heyer, the young woman killed in Charlottesville by a neo-Nazi sympathizer, had kind words for Trump after his statement to the press about the incident on Monday. Now that she has had a chance to catch up after the funeral on Trump’s subsequent statements, Bro tells ABC’s Good Morning America that she has no interest in talking with the president. “I’m not forgiving that,” she tells Robin Roberts:
“I understand that President Trump wants to speak with me, I’ve heard from his press secretary and a few other people, and it’s not that I’m trying to be calloused, it’s that I have no interest in speaking to politicians just to hear them say, ‘I’m sorry,'” Susan Bro said in an interview Thursday with ABC News. “If I felt like that’s all they wanted to say, that would be different, but I feel like I’m wanted to be used for political agendas and I’m resistant to that.”
One can hardly blame Bro for this sentiment. She tells Roberts that a number of politicians asked to take part in the funeral, which was covered live by the media, but she turned them down more from a sense of caution than specifics. “I don’t have enough experience to sort through that,” Bro says. “I’m just leery,I’m just leery. I’ve always been a bit of a cynic and a bit of a skeptic,” she continued, “and this has kind of added to that.”
On social media, some argued that her public thank you to Trump signaled that she agreed with his take on the incident. Whether or not Bro was aware of that, she’s aware now of what Trump said on Tuesday, and refuses to get drawn into any hint of endorsement for it:
Bro thanked Trump in a statement on Monday for “those words of comfort and for denouncing those who promote violence and hatred” but said today in an interview with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” that her opinion changed after she had time to watch news coverage of the Charlottesville protests after laying her 32-year-old daughter to rest on Wednesday.
“I hadn’t really watched the news until last night and I’m not talking to the president now, after what he said,” Bro explained. “I saw an actual clip of him at a press conference equating the protesters … with the KKK and the white supremacists.”
She continued, “You can’t wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ I’m not forgiving for that.”
Bro still does have one piece of practical advice she would give Trump if she did ever speak to him:
When asked today if there was anything she would want to say to Trump, Bro said, “Think before you speak.”
Jake Tapper wondered whether that advice would get taken in this instance, and pointed out that Trump’s track record is a bit spotty on that point:
Thinks to self: Surely the president would never attack a grieving mother, even if she criticized — oh wait… https://t.co/Z8IQNAr5Kt
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 18, 2017
So far, all is quiet on the Twitter front. Trump only tweet this morning (so far) has been to reassure people that the Department of Homeland Security remains vigilant in the wake of the terror attacks in Spain. Perhaps the experience of this past week has made Bro’s advice even more recognizably good.